FORENSIC police officers are continuing the painstaking task of searching the ground at a Bayswater industrial site for the remains of alleged murder victim Rebecca Delalande.
Two areas behind two warehouses on Mooney Street are the focus of the teams, who started sifting through the dirt today after slabs of concrete were cut out and removed at the weekend.
Ms Delalande was last seen alive 17 years ago, although no one realised something was wrong until last year.
Cold case detectives will allege the woman was likely killed around the night she was last seen alive — which was at a Seville Grove house on November 5, 2001.
Rockingham man Chris Blennerhassett, 45, has been charged with murdering Ms Delalande but police have not yet revealed how the pair knew each other.
The Bayswater site where police believe the 23-year-old may be buried is owned by Mr Blennerhassett’s father but there is no suggestion he knows anything about Ms Delalande’s disappearance.
Cold case homicide squad Det-Sen. Sgt Craig Stephen has said the site had been in “different people’s hands over the years” and had been used as a storage unit.
Police hope they will have answers this week for Ms Delalande’s family about where her remains are.
The breakthrough in the case came just days after police and Ms Delalande’s mother Doreena Kunoth made a public plea for information after it came to light she had not been seen or heard from in many years and police feared she had been the victim of a “serious crime”.
It was only by chance that police realised she was missing after contacting her mother last year because they wanted to speak to her daughter as a witness in a separate investigation.
Det-Sen. Sgt Stephen said police had not been able to track her movements since November 2001.
Ms Delalande, who had a young son, was not in regular contact with her family at the time of her disappearance and her mother thought she had moved to the Eastern States.
Police said Ms Delalande was experiencing some “lifestyle challenges” when she was last seen. Det-Sen. Sgt Stephen said the public appeal led police to the Bayswater site and to the arrest of Mr Blennerhassett but police still needed public help.
“We are hoping that people can still come forward and can provide more information as we piece together what happened to Ms Delalande,” he said. It is understood police do not believe her death is linked to the other investigation they wanted to speak to her about.
Mr Blennerhassett did not enter a plea when he faced Perth Magistrate’s Court on Saturday. He was remanded in custody until November 28.
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